If you’re not someone who is naturally good with numbers, sAnd even if you are, it can be difficult to know what metrics to focus on, and how to keep track of everything at once.
You’ve likely sought out resources to help you gain a better understanding of business financials. But even finding effective tools, and regular insights is a massive endeavor in itself. There’s plenty of content out there, but which blogs and guides are actually useful?
To that end, we’ve curated a list of 30 resources to help you manage the financial side of your small business.
Do you prefer learning by watching, rather than reading? Or, do you wish you could have access to a great podcast that would tell you everything you need to know about managing your small business financials, that you could listen to while on your morning commute?
Great, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve included a variety of mediums to suit multiple learning styles and schedules. You’ll also likely find some new tools and resources, instead of more of the same old recommendations.
Read on to discover 30 fantastic resources to help you successfully take on the financial side of your business.
Finance Blogs and Websites
1. Funding Gates
This blog dives deep into accounts receivable, giving helpful tips, case studies, and ways to improve your AR process. It also offers several products and services to help increase your knowledge and success in funding.
2. Small Biz Labs
This site focuses less on finance and more on larger-scale economic trends that small businesses should be aware of. It tracks and forecasts changes that could affect businesses, the future of work, and the economy at large.
3. Business Credit Blogger
As the name suggests, this blog covers topics related to business credit, from distinguishing between loans and lines of credit, to how to get high limit business credit cards.
4. Intuit QuickBooks Money Blog
Powered by the folks behind Intuit’s QuickBooks software, this blog offers great resources on a variety of small business financial topics.
5. The Fundera Ledger
In their “money” section, our partners over at Fundera cover everything from advice and tips on getting loans, to dealing with your cash flow.
6. Evergreen Small Business
This website offers helpful insights from small business CPAs. It provides several helpful articles and resources that are more focused on accounting practices. Evergreen Small Business also offers DIY LLC Formation Kits and S Corporation Kits for each of the fifty states.
7. Smart Passive Income
Popular for a good reason, Pat Flynn’s site dives deep into what it takes to earn a real income online. It also offers online courses and podcasts to further your financial knowledge! If you’re new to his site, start here.
While Investopedia’s main site serves as a good overview of investing and the economy as a whole, their entrepreneurship section has great resources to help you master the financials for your business.
9. Planet Money Blog
If you’re looking for an entertaining and exciting way to delve into specific areas of the American economy, Planet Money fits the bill.
Starting off as a podcast, the show explores unique stories across the US regarding businesses and events that directly relate to the current state of the economy and even passing legislature. Their blog goes even deeper, providing resources, and other materials based on the stories they cover, which you can leverage to help your business manage economic trends.
Bplans.com is our own site! There, you can find hundreds of financial articles, free downloadable sample business plan templates, and resources like ebooks, videos, and more to further educate you on everything there is to know about financials.
11. Bplans Funding Guide
Specific financial articles
12. The Key Elements of the Financial Plan
This article by our own Bplans.com breaks down what a financial plan is and why it is important. It further breaks down each key component of a successful financial plan and provides several resources to further aid you!
13. What Is Cash Flow?
That’s right, even more on cash flow. We think the topic is so important to get right that we’ve addressed it more than once. In this article, Palo Alto Software COO Noah Parsons goes into detail to describe what cash flow is, why it’s an important metric to track, and how to improve your business’s cash flow.
14. What Is Accounts Payable?
Another great article in our “Metrics in a Minute” series on LivePlan, this article details what accounts payable (AP) is, and how to improve your business’s AP. Knowing about your accounts payable is important because it lets you know how much you owe to whom, and if you manage it you are likely to keep your company in a solid cash position.
15. What Is Accounts Receivable?
The counterpart to our coverage of accounts payable, this article details tracking and improving your accounts receivable, or AR. Tracking your accounts receivable is also important when managing your cash flow. Staying on top of your AR will allow you to make sure you are collecting all of the money that is owed to you.
16. What Are Direct Costs?
This article goes over direct costs, also known as costs of goods sold (or “COGS”), and details why they matter, and how to track this metric in your business. Understanding your direct costs is important in increasing your gross margins and improving your profits.
17. Key Business Metrics You Need to Track
Successful business owners have one thing in common—They actively track metrics to achieve their goals. Learn what metrics you should be tracking with this full guide regarding why they are important and how to use them effectively.
Online courses and videos
18. Finance Essentials for Small Business
This Lynda tutorial, led by accounting professors Jim and Kay Stice, goes over everything from cash management to how to hire a bookkeeper. An hour-long segment, if you have access to Lynda’s huge database of online courses, this is a great, efficient way to get all your small business financial info in one place.
19. Khan Academy’s Finance Tutorials
If you prefer video tutorials to browsing through blogs, check out Khan Academy’s finance tutorial section. They cover accounting topics from a basic level, as well as small business specifics, like their series on core financial metrics.
20. Introduction to Financial Accounting
This Coursera course is offered through the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, as part of a five-course Business Foundations Specialization series.
21. Coursera’s Finance Videos
If Coursera courses appeal to you and suit your budget—they’re one of the few suggestions on this list that don’t come free—check out their finance section. You’ll find courses like Introduction to Corporate Finance, and New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs, among others.
22. The Accounting Best Practices Podcast
With over 200 episodes (and 2.5 million downloads), this podcast is a wealth of information. From the standpoint of the most comprehensive overview of small business financial education, this podcast wins on breadth alone.
23. The Smart Passive Income Podcast
If you were intrigued by the Smart Passive Income Blog, check out Pat Flynn’s podcast, which provides tips, tricks, and stories from his own experience and that of guest entrepreneurs.
24. HBR IdeaCast
Harvard Business Review releases a weekly podcast that features the leading minds in business and management. They often take traditional management and financing concepts and speak to how they can be applied to real-world scenarios. It’s available through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and RSS.
25. So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
Award-winning financial correspondent Farnoosh Torabi’s great daily podcast features advice and interviews with some of the most sought-out names in entrepreneurship today, as well as her Q&A style “Ask Farnoosh” segment.
Software and tools
This list wouldn’t be complete without us recommending that you use our own software, LivePlan.
Now, as you’re on the LivePlan blog, it’s likely that you’ve heard of it; but, just in case you’re not familiar with the product, the Dashboard feature of LivePlan allows you to keep all your key business metrics organized and right in front of you, on an interactive, visual financial dashboard.
It will take the mystery out of tracking your metrics, and enable you to manage your small business financials easily. If you’re curious for more details on how Dashboard works and how it can make tracking and managing your financials easier, we’ve got you covered.
27. QuickBooks Online
This online accounting software helps business owners manage their financials through different tasks like tracking income, invoicing customers, and tracking sales. For a monthly subscription, this software from Intuit helps do the accounting for your business.
28. Paypal Invoicing
Adam Blacker of the MSLGroup recommends Paypal Invoicing, due to the ease of customization and ability to make batch invoices and attachments. This service offers free, customizable email invoice templates to help you send your most professional invoices.
This software allows you to integrate your cloud applications as well as automate your marketing, sales, and business processes. Automate.io helps you sync tasks on apps like Gmail and Trello and ultimately streamline your productivity by removing complex steps. If you’re looking for something cost-free that will perform similarly, then you can try IFTTT.
Designed specifically for small business owners (not professional accountants), Freshbooks makes keeping track of your small business financials simple. We’ve recommended it many times before on the LivePlan blog and on Bplans, and think it’s a great option for small business owners looking to make their accounting process as easy as possible.